The Deborah Lewis Fund Has Been Created to Help Indiana Mother Raise Money for Prosthetic Hands That Were Denied by Insurance

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The Deborah Lewis Fund has been setup to help an Indiana mother of three gain access to prosthetic hands that cost $25,000 each after two appeals to Humana have been denied. Humana indicated in her rejection letter that the hands she requested were medically unnecessary and offered prosthetic hooks instead.

How do you say it's not a medical necessity when I can't do anything for myself? I can't do anything on my own. And when I say, can't do anything -- I hate to say it -- but somebody has to go to the bathroom with me... I'm a prisoner in my own home.

The Deborah Lewis Fund has been setup to help an Indiana mother of three gain access to prosthetic hands that cost $25,000 each after two appeals to Humana have been denied. Humana indicated in her rejection letter that the hands she requested were medically unnecessary and offered prosthetic hooks instead.

Are hands medically necessary? Humana says no. On the contrary, we use our hands to stay clean, to wash ourselves, to tend to a child’s wound, to prepare food, to clean our homes, and more. So, why does Humana think that prosthetic hands like shown in the photo are “medically unnecessary?”

Humana has twice denied appeals by Debbie Lewis, a 34-year-old, mother of three, to be approved for prosthetic hands that would replace the two she lost in a battle with Leukemia last year. She nearly died in the hospital when her heart stopped beating, but doctors were able to bring her back with a life-saving drug, Levophed, which contributed to the poor circulation in her hands that led to amputation.

Debbie told reporters with WHAS11 on October 1, 2010, “My biggest fear was dying and not having anything set up and leaving my kids at such a young age.”

Debbie was approved by Humana for prosthetic hooks, but she does not feel that hooks will allow her to return to normal life, to care for herself and her family, and to work. She could work again if only she had hands, but in her present condition, she’s limited to a life on disability.

In a follow-up story which aired on WHAS11 on April 15, 2011, Debbie added, "I've worked. I worked full time. I worked a steady job. I'm not asking for anything for free." She just wants hands that would let her take care of herself and her family.

Debbie added, “How do you say it's not a medical necessity when I can't do anything for myself? I can't do anything on my own. And when I say, can't do anything -- I hate to say it -- but somebody has to go to the bathroom with me. Someone has to shower with me. It's like I'm a prisoner in my own home.”

The Deborah Lewis Fund is accepting donations at Your Community Bank, located in the Greater Louisville, KY area, for anyone looking to to lend a helping hand to Debbie and her family.

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Sandra Martin

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